SEATTLE, WA – The Seattle Mariners announced their Minor League invites for the 2021 MLB season. The Invitations include two teams from the state in the Tacoma Rainiers and Everett AquaSox.
It was not much of a surprise to see the Rainiers and AquaSox on the Mariners invitation list. The teams have a bit of a shared history as both became affiliates with the Major League club back in 1995. Before that, the Rainiers had spent the previous 14 years with the Oakland A’s while the AquaSox were an affiliate of the San Francisco Giants for 11 years.
Tacoma will continue to fill their exact same role within the club hierarchy at the AAA level. The team has been a AAA ball club, the highest level of minor league baseball since their inception back in 1960. They are the highest level MiLB team in the Northwest.
The biggest change was for the Everett AquaSox. The club will remain at the Single-A level but will now be promoted to A-Advanced. Previously, they were apart of the Class-A short season league which meant they played a condensed schedule that usually did not start until June. It also meant they were the landing spot for most high draft picks that the Mariners had. Now, they will have a lengthened schedule and will be the 2nd or 3rd stop for most players working their way through the MiLB system.
This change did not just affect Everett; the entire Northwest League will be making the jump to a higher level. This is due to MLB’s new farm system structure that they introduced to minimize teams and cost levels. The NWL includes other Washington State based teams in the Tri-City Dust Devils and Spokane Indians, as well as two teams in Oregon and one in British Columbia.
Also receiving invites from Seattle were the Arkansas Travelers and Modesto Nuts who both have had previous affiliation with the Mariners.